California Highway Patrolman/ from 911 tape:
'Our accelerator is stuck, we're in trouble, no brakes.'
The driver of this car made this frantic 911 call seconds before he, his wife, his daughter and his brother-in-law lost control of their car on a California highway and were killed in San Diego.
From 911 tape: 'We're approaching an intersection, hold on pray.'"
The most important thing to do is to not panic and the best way not to panic is to think about this problem when you aren't hurtling down the street. The driver above was a highway patrol officer, trained in high speed driving, yet somehow he didn't do something that seems very obvious:
Put the car in Neutral and coast to a stop. The engine will race and overheat but once you stop you can just turn it off.
Just thinking about a solution to the problem before it happens radically increases your chances of survival.
What else could you do to slow down and stop your speeding car? At this point saving the lives of you and your passengers is more important then saving the car. Sacrificing the car for your life is a good deal.
You can just turn the car off. You'll lose power steering and brakes but you can still steer and brake it will just be harder. Don't turn the key so far that you lock the steering wheel, that would be bad.
We were driving over the Rocky Mountains and I put the car in neutral to coast down a mountain and I accidently put it in reverse, that didn't lock everything up or break the transmission though it did stall the car. After restarting it was fine.
Many mountain highways have escape ramps, these are filled with loose gravel and go uphill to slow down and stop runaway trucks. If there is one handy use it.
Is there is a concrete barrier or rock face next to you? You can scrape the side of the car on it and that will slow you down. Don't hit it head on that could be bad.
Can you think of any other was to slow and stop and out of control car?